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Bit By a Dog? Take These 7 Steps Immediately

aggressive dog with owner

You’re walking along the trail, minding your own business, and see what appears to be a friendly dog walking its owner toward you. As you and the dog pass one another, you feel a sharp pain on your hand. You’ve just been bitten!

Once you’ve overcome the shock of having been bitten, there are steps you need to take to reduce your risk of infection. Even when you take the following steps, you’ll want to visit your physician or the emergency room within 8 hours. Your biggest concern right now is infection — it’s not something to take lightly.

If your dog bite results in significant medical costs, emotional distress, and other personal losses, know that you may have the option to hold the negligent dog owner accountable for these costs. A dog bite lawyer in the Carolinas can help you examine your options for filing a personal injury claim. Learn more about your legal options and the forms of compensation that could be available to you when you call (704) 364-3361 to schedule a free consultation with Auger & Auger. We are experienced personal injury lawyers serving the Carolinas, and we care about helping you recover after your dog bite or any other incident caused by negligence.

Seven Steps to Take Following the Bite

  1. Wash with Soap and Water. Use mild soap and warm tap water. Wash your hands for five to 10 minutes, rinse and pat dry.
  2. Apply Pressure. As with any other laceration, you want to apply pressure to your wound with a clean, dry cloth. This will help control and stop the bleeding.
  3. Use Antibiotic Cream. Apply a thin layer of over-the-counter antibiotic ointment if you have any available.
  4. Wrap the Wound. Use a sterile, gauze type bandage. If you don’t have bandages available, use a clean cloth. Wrapping the wound with a dirty towel or cloth can encourage infection.
  5. See a Doctor. Keep the wound firmly wrapped, and head to your doctor. If there are no appointments available, go to the emergency room.
  6. Follow Home-Care Instructions. Your doctor will give you instructions to follow once you’ve been discharged. Be sure to follow the instructions, and call your doctor if you think your condition is getting worse.
  7. Stay Vigilant. Keep an eye out for any sign of infection. Signs include itchiness, puffiness, redness, constant pain, or a feeling of heaviness at the wound site. If you believe the wound is infected, do not hesitate to visit the hospital or your doctor’s office.

Do I need a Tetanus Shot After a Dog Bite?

Whether or not you need a tetanus shot is something you and your doctor will discuss. In general, people need a tetanus shot every 10 years to be protected. If it’s been longer than 10 years, you’ll need a booster. 

Your doctor may choose to booster your vaccine if your wound has signs of contamination or it has penetrated particularly deeply. A medical care provider may also choose to booster a vaccine if it’s been five years since your last one. If you aren’t sure when you last received a tetanus shot, be sure to mention this to the care provider treating your wound.

Do I Need a Dog Bite Attorney?

As dog bite attorneys in the Carolinas, we know what you are going through as a dog bite victim. You are paying for medical bills for a wound caused by someone else’s dangerous dog, and you don’t believe it’s fair — neither do we. You do not deserve to be placed in financial difficulty because of the negligence of a dog owner.

Call Auger & Auger today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your bite and help you determine your best steps moving forward. Our team will make you a priority. We want to help you hold the at-fault party accountable and secure the compensation you deserve. 

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your dog bite when you call (704) 364-3361 or contact us online today.

Posted In: Dog Bite
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